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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (9 April) . . Page.. 787 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

courageous in times of grief, she was distinguished when in the public eye and she was always charismatic.

A particular event that illustrates that point was the moment during the dark days of the Second World War when Britain, London in particular, were under siege and the Queen Mother made the decision, together with her husband, George VI, to stay in London during the Nazi bombing. A particularly illustrative moment was when, after some days of bombing, a bomb landed on Buckingham Palace and damaged that building. There was dismay in some quarters and there were calls on the part of some in the government for the Queen and King to be evacuated to somewhere safer, maybe even to overseas. The Queen Mother, however, had a quite different view about it. She said, "I'm glad. Now we can look the East End in the eye."

Mr Speaker, looking the world in the eye was what she did a great deal of over those 101 years of her life. She was a figure that moved over a large part of the world's surface, meeting government leaders, meeting representatives of communities, meeting a huge cross-section of the world's humanity. There would be few people today in public life anywhere, perhaps even her daughter included, who could claim such a vast array of experience with the key decision-makers and community leaders of the last century, but the Queen Mother is one such person.

She was active in a number of other areas. She was associated with more than 300 organisations and was patron or president of many of those. She had a very human side, enjoying the countryside and sport, particularly horse racing. She was a keen fisherwoman and enjoyed steeple chasing as well.

Mr Speaker, she will be remembered particularly in Australian eyes, and I hope particularly in the eyes of Canberrans, as a person who played a key role on that very important day in May 1927 when, in effect, Canberra's fate as the national capital of Australia was sealed by the opening of the federal parliament. It is therefore with much sadness that this motion has been moved today to draw down the curtain on over a century of public service.

I am sure that I speak for many Australians, whether they are republicans or monarchists, when I say that she as a figure epitomised all that we would hope of figures in the royal family and we can but hope that others who follow her in a variety of roles will demonstrate the same level of service and dedication to the duties that fall on their shoulders.

MS DUNDAS: I rise today to add the condolences of the Australian Democrats on the passing of the Queen Mother. She was an extraordinary woman, universally adored, and she was a woman of strength and grace. The public outpouring of grief by way of the signing of condolence books in Australia and the people in Britain spending hours in queues to pay their respects to the Queen Mum is indicative of how she has touched the lives of many.

She brought to the monarchy fun, a sense of humour, a sense of enjoyment and an added charm which were quite out of the ordinary and she was always seen as going directly to the people. The Queen Mother's mettle, often hidden beneath a triple string of pearls,

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